Thyroid doses for evacuees from the Fukushima nuclear accident.
ABSTRACT: A primary health concern among residents and evacuees in affected areas immediately after a nuclear accident is the internal exposure of the thyroid to radioiodine, particularly I-131, and subsequent thyroid cancer risk. In Japan, the natural disasters of the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011 destroyed an important function of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (F1-NPP) and a large amount of radioactive material was released to the environment. Here we report for the first time extensive measurements of the exposure to I-131 revealing I-131 activity in the thyroid of 46 out of the 62 residents and evacuees measured. The median thyroid equivalent dose was estimated to be 4.2 mSv and 3.5 mSv for children and adults, respectively, much smaller than the mean thyroid dose in the Chernobyl accident (490 mSv in evacuees). Maximum thyroid doses for children and adults were 23 mSv and 33 mSv, respectively.
Project description:Following the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011, the nuclear disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant has continued to affect the mental health status of residents in the evacuation zone. To examine the mental health status of evacuee after the nuclear accident, we conducted the Mental Health and Lifestyle Survey as part of the ongoing Fukushima Health Management Survey.We measured mental health status using the Kessler 6-item psychological distress scale (K6) in a total of 73,569 (response rate: 40.7%) evacuees aged 15 and over who lived in the evacuation zone in Fukushima Prefecture. We then dichotomized responders using a 12/13 cutoff on the K6, and compared the proportion of K6 scores ?13 and ?12 in each risk factor including demographic information, socioeconomic variables, and disaster-related variables. We also performed bivariate analyses between mental health status and possible risk factors using the chi-square test. Furthermore, we performed multivariate regression analysis using modified Poisson regression models.The median K6 score was 5 (interquartile range: 1-10). The number of psychological distress was 8,717 (14.6%). We found that significant differences in the prevalence of psychological distress by almost all survey items, including disaster-related risk factors, most of which were also associated with increased Prevalence ratios (PRs). Additionally, we found that psychological distress in each evacuation zone was significantly positively associated with the radiation levels in their environment (r = 0.768, p = 0.002).The earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear accident likely caused severe psychological distress among residents in the evacuation zone in Fukushima Prefecture. The close association between psychological distress and the radiation levels shows that the nuclear accident seriously influenced the mental health of the residents, which might be exacerbated by increased risk perception. To provide prompt and appropriate support, continued psychosocial intervention for evacuees is strongly recommended.
Project description:After the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, little information has been available on individual doses from external exposure among residents living in radioactively contaminated areas near the nuclear plant; in the present study we evaluated yearly changes in the doses from external exposure after the accident and the effects of decontamination on external exposure. This study considered all children less than 16 years of age in Soma City, Fukushima who participated in annual voluntary external exposure screening programs during the five years after the accident (n = 5,363). In total, 14,405 screening results were collected. The median participant age was eight years. The geometric mean levels of annual additional doses from external exposure attributable to the Fukushima accident, decreased each year: 0.60 mSv (range: not detectable (ND)-4.29 mSv), 0.37 mSv (range: ND-3.61 mSv), 0.22 mSv (range: ND-1.44 mSv), 0.20 mSv (range: ND-1.87 mSv), and 0.17 mSv (range: ND-0.85 mSv) in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015, respectively. The proportion of residents with annual additional doses from external exposure of more than 1 mSv dropped from 15.6% in 2011 to zero in 2015. Doses from external exposure decreased more rapidly than those estimated from only physical decay, even in areas without decontamination (which were halved in 395 days from November 15, 2011), presumably due to the weathering effects. While the ratios of geometric mean doses immediately after decontamination to before were slightly lower than those during the same time in areas without decontamination, annual additional doses reduced by decontamination were small (0.04-0.24 mSv in the year of immediately after decontamination was completed). The results of this study showed that the levels of external exposure among Soma residents less than 16 years of age decreased during the five years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident. Decontamination had only limited and temporal effects on reducing individual external doses.
Project description:Background. The Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (CNPP) accident exposed a large number of inhabitants to internal (131)I radiation. The associations between internal (131)I exposure and thyroid autoimmunity and benign thyroid diseases remain controversial in the population living in the contaminated area around the CNNP. In this study, we evaluate the association of (131)I with benign thyroid diseases. Methods. We compared the prevalence of Anti-Thyroid Autoantibodies (ATAs), thyroid function, and prevalence of thyroid ultrasound finding outcomes in 300 residents of the contaminated area of Ukraine who were 0-5 years of age at the time of the CNPP accident (group 1) and 300 sex-matched residents who were born after the accident (group 2). Results. We did not find any differences of the prevalence of Antithyroglobulin Antibodies (TGAb) positive, Antithyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb) positive, and TGAb and/or TPOAb positive between the study groups. (11.7% vs 10.3%; p = 0.602, 17.3% vs 13.0%; p = 0.136, 21.0% vs 17.3%; p = 0.254, respectively); after adjusting for age and sex, the prevalence was not associated with the (131)I exposure status in the study groups. The prevalence of subclinical and overt hypothyroidism cases was not significantly different (p = 0.093 and p = 0.320) in the two groups, nor was the prevalence of goiter (p = 0.482). On the other hand, the prevalence of nodules was significantly higher in group 1 (p = 0.003), though not significantly so after adjustment for age and sex. Discussion. Working 26-27 years after the CNNP accident, we found no increased prevalence of ATAs or benign thyroid diseases in young adults exposed to (131)I fallout during early childhood in the contaminated area of Ukraine. Long-term follow-up is needed to clarify the effects of radiation exposure on autoimmunity reaction in the thyroid.
Project description:It is well known from the experience after the 1986 accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant that radiocesium tends to concentrate in wild mushrooms. In this study, we collected wild mushrooms from the Kawauchi Village of Fukushima Prefecture, located within 30 km of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, and evaluated their radiocesium concentrations to estimate the risk of internal radiation exposure in local residents. We found that radioactive cesium exceeding 100 Bq/kg was detected in 125 of 154 mushrooms (81.2%). We calculated committed effective doses based on 6,278 g per year (age > 20 years, 17.2 g/day), the average intake of Japanese citizens, ranging from doses of 0.11-1.60 mSv, respectively. Although committed effective doses are limited even if residents eat contaminated foods several times, we believe that comprehensive risk-communication based on the results of the radiocesium measurements of food, water, and soil is necessary for the recovery of Fukushima after this nuclear disaster.
Project description:BACKGROUND: A magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off eastern Japan in March 2011. Many survivors have been living in temporary houses provided by the local government since they lost their houses as a result of the great tsunami (tsunami group) or the expected high-dose radiation resulting from the nuclear accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (radiation group). The tsunami was more than 9 m high in Soma, Fukushima, which is located 30 km north of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant and adjacent to the mandatory evacuation area. A health screening program was held for the evacuees in Soma in September 2011. The aim of this study was to compare the metabolic profiles of the evacuees before and after the disaster. We hypothesized that the evacuees would experience deteriorated metabolic status based on previous reports of natural disasters. METHODS: Data on 200 subjects who attended a health screening program in September or October of 2010 (pre-quake) and 2011 (post-quake) were retrospectively reviewed and included in this study. Pre-quake and post-quake results of physical examinations and laboratory tests were compared in the tsunami and radiation groups. A multivariate regression model was used to determine pre-quake predictive factors for elevation of hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) in the tsunami group. RESULTS: Significantly higher values of body weight, body mass index, waist circumference, and HbA1c and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels were found at the post-quake screening when compared with the pre-quake levels (p = 0.004, p = 0.03, p = 0.008, p < 0.001, and p = 0.03, respectively). A significantly higher proportion of subjects in the tsunami group with high HbA1c, defined as ? 5.7%, was observed after the quake (34.3%) than before the quake (14.8%) (p < 0.001). Regional factors, periodic clinic visits, and waist circumference before the quake were identified as predictive factors on multivariate analysis for the deterioration of HbA1c. CONCLUSIONS: Post-quake metabolic variables were impaired compared with pre-quake baseline levels in survivors who were living in temporary houses. A natural disaster could affect metabolic profiles, and careful follow-up for survivors should be planned.
Project description:The Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident, which occurred in March 2011, is having long-term effects on children. We planned this study to describe the trajectories of emotional symptoms and peer relationship problems in children and to examine potential risks and protective factors over the 35 months following the accident. The sample was 11,791 children in the first to sixth elementary grades. We identified four patterns for emotional symptoms and three patterns for peer relationship problems, using group-based trajectory modelling. For emotional symptoms, female gender, experience of tsunami and nuclear plant accident, out-of-prefecture evacuees, and insufficient physical activity were associated with the very severe trajectory. In contrast, for peer relationship problems, male gender, experience of nuclear plant accident, and insufficient physical activity were associated with the very severe trajectory. Different factors might be related to the very severe trajectories of emotional symptoms and peer relationship problems.
Project description:After the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant accident, the residents living around the Chernobyl were revealed to have been internally exposed to 137Cs through the intake of contaminated local foods. To evaluate the current situation of internal 137Cs exposure and the relationship between the 137Cs soil contamination and internal exposure in residents, we investigated the 137Cs body burden in residents who were living in 10 selected cities from the northern part of the Zhitomir region, Ukraine, and collected soil samples from three family farms and wild forests of each city to measured 137Cs concentrations. The total number of study participants was 36,862, of which 68.9% of them were female. After 2010, the annual effective doses were less than 0.1 mSv in over 90% of the residents. The 137Cs body burden was significantly higher in autumn than other seasons (p < 0.001) and in residents living in more contaminated areas (p < 0.001). We also found a significant correlation between the proportion of residents in each city with an estimated annual exposure dose exceeding 0.1 mSv and 137Cs concentration of soil samples from family farms (r = 0.828, p = 0.003). In conclusion, more than 25 years after the Chernobyl accident, the internal exposure doses to residents living in contaminated areas of northern Ukraine is limited but still related to 137Cs soil contamination. Furthermore, the consumption of local foods is considered to be the cause of internal exposure.
Project description:After the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant run by Tokyo Electric Power Company in 2011, breast milk samples obtained from volunteers living in Fukushima and neighboring prefectures were examined and small amounts of I-131 (2.2-36.3 Bq/kg) were detected in some samples. In this work, the I-131 concentrations in breast milk from nursing mothers in Ibaraki prefecture were calculated based on the iodine biokinetic model during lactation together with time-variable intake scenarios by inhalation of ambient air and ingestion of tap water, using the authors' code. The calculated I-131 concentrations in breast milk generally agreed with those measured for the volunteers. Based on the results, thyroid equivalent doses to breast-fed infants were estimated for each place of residence of the volunteers on the assumption that these infants consumed 800 ml of breast milk every day, resulting in 10-11 mSv for Mito and Kasama cities and 1.1-1.8 mSv for Tsukuba and Moriya cities. It was suggested that breast milk consumption could be a major contributor to internal dose of breast-fed infants in areas with mild I-131 pollution; however, further studies considering personal behavior surveys would be necessary to estimate individual doses.
Project description:There is concern among residents that their children might suffer from thyroid cancer in the near future after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station (FDNPS) accident. However, the demographic and geographical distribution of thyroid equivalent doses was not thoroughly evaluated, and direct thyroid measurements were conducted only for 1,200 children, whose individual thyroid doses were assessed on the basis of those measurements accounting for the dynamics of radioiodine intake. We conducted hierarchical clustering analyses of 100 or 300 randomly sampled behavioural questionnaire sheets of children from each of seven municipalities in the evacuation area to reconstruct evacuation scenarios associated with high or low exposures to plumes. In total 896 behaviour records in the Fukushima Health Management Survey were analysed to estimate thyroid equivalent doses via inhalation, using a spatiotemporal radionuclides concentration database constructed by atmospheric dispersion simulations. After a decontamination factor for sheltering and a modifying factor for the dose coefficient-to reflect lower iodine uptake rate in Japanese-were applied, estimated thyroid equivalent doses were close to those estimated from direct thyroid measurement. The median and 95<sup>th</sup> percentile of thyroid equivalent doses of 1-year-old children ranged from 0.6 to 16?mSv and from 7.5 to 30?mSv, respectively. These results are useful for future epidemiological studies of thyroid cancer in Fukushima.
Project description:After the Tokyo Electric Power Company Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident, cancer risk from low-dose radiation exposure has been deeply concerning. The linear no-threshold model is applied for the purpose of radiation protection, but it is a model based on the concept that ionizing radiation induces stochastic oncogenic alterations in the target cells. As the elucidation of the mechanism of radiation-induced carcinogenesis is indispensable to justify the concept, studies aimed at the determination of molecular changes associated with thyroid cancers among children who suffered effects from the Chernobyl nuclear accident will be overviewed. We intend to discuss whether any radiation signatures are associated with radiation-induced childhood thyroid cancers.